Join Angela, Axel, Abel and Asher as they welcome their new sibling home.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Nothing

A whole lot of nothing, that's what we're hearing, and that's what I'm getting done. August is done, and our homestudy is not. I am discouraged and frustrated. Our homestudy should be done by now. We haven't even had our first visit yet! (To be honest though, I don't have all my documents together yet. I have two more to get, but I can't take Angela along with me to get those, so I've just decided to wait until next week when she starts school when I won't be pressed for time.) I haven't heard anything from the other side of the world in weeks and weeks. The ticker up there is going to roll over to the 5 months mark pretty soon.

.........................sigh....................

This is where everyone reminds me there is a reason for everything, timing is everything, and all of those things. I keep reminding myself of that too.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Aaron

Please continue to pray for Aaron. If you're not following his family's blog, things are TOUGH for them in Ukraine right now. They need all kinds of prayers. Every little bit helps.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Together for Adoption

If you're adopting, or thinking about adopting, or just interested in the topic, I highly recommend the blog of the organization Together for Adoption.  I sure wish I could attend the conference this fall. Next year...there is always next year!

Anyway, go have a read! There is lots of good information waiting for you there!

About Spiritual Attacks

My friend Kelly, who lurks around here (Hi Kelly! Glad to you're still around! Of course I remember you, silly!) sent me a link to this AWESOME post about coming under spiritual attack when you're in the midst of adoption. Give it a read. I bet you'll find it interesting.

I have no doubt we're under attack. I've been waiting for it to happen, actually. Other than waiting for Ianna to be released for international adoption, things have fallen into place too easy. Do you know what that tells me? Other things are ramping up to start moving! I bet we're going to hear some news soon! If we weren't why would Satan be so concerned about what we're preparing for? If there wasn't a child to bring home, Satan would take his busy work elsewhere.

Well Satan, let me tell you something. The blood of Christ washes over this ENTIRE house, and everyone in it. It even washes over those INTENDED to be in it! Nothing you do can dissuade us from adopting. WE ARE. Every single one of our documents have been prayed over and blessed, every step taken thus far has been taken with Christ holding our hand, HE HASN'T LET GO and HE ISN'T LETTING GO!  You tried to knock us down with the car, but you're not so smart! God gave us a safety net that we have kept locked a way for such a day as this. SO NA NA NA NA BOO BOO ON YOU!

And they all said, "Amen!"

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

sicker

I just got sicker. We just got the final estimate on the car, keeping in mind the mechanic is a very good friend of ours, not someone who is going to take advantage of us in any way. The cost is more than the homestudy and agency fee put together. My car needs a whole new engine.

I am sick beyond sick.

sick

That is what I felt today as Angela and I drove to a county office to pick up the last of the certified documents we needed for the homestudy, and my car started making the kind of noises that can't be ignored.

I noticed as soon as we got on the highway that the car didn't have much power, and when we got the the first stop light it threatened to die. This is where the sick feeling hit me, as $$$ flashed before my eyes.

Thankfully the light turned green so I was able to give it some gas. We limped it to our first destination (the UPS store to drop off an urgent package.) then I called our mechanic to let him know we were on our way over. It was only about 4 miles away, but I wondered if we'd make it. It's a busy area with lots of stop lights and signs, which were NOT my friends right now!

I took lots of back streets, avoiding as many major intersections as possible, and eventually made it to the shop. Angela and I hung out for an hour or so while they diagnosed the problem, which turned out to be relatively major, and is going to cost half of our homestudy money. It's a $1000 repair. (plus tax)

I want to vomit.

We had $7000 worth of financial commitments to take care of before we started the homestudy process.  We didn't want to go into the homestudy with small outstanding debts, so those were taken care of. Then we got the $2500 put aside for the homestudy, which is due next week (or whenever they come to the house, we're waiting for them to call to set the appointment.) This car repair is going to have to come out of that money, leaving us $1000 short.

So what's left after that????

Once the homestudy is paid for, we have another $2000 due to the adoption agency. (assuming Ianna has been legally registered for adoption so we can commit to her! ) Once we get to that point in the adoption there are a couple of grants we can apply for that, if we qualify, can help us with some of the additional (approximate) $10,000 needed for the adoption.

.................sigh.................I'm trying really hard not to feel discouraged right now. The other day I had a whole bunch of adoption related PDF files that I was working on my computer. I had them running in the background, waiting until Dean got home so I could ask him the questions he needed to answer. The forms can't be saved because of the format they're done in. You just fill them out then print them. Anyway, A certain 14 year old girl decided to use my computer without asking for permission while I was in the shower, and X-ed out of everything.

POOF!

Three hours of work gone.

It feels like I will never get this stuff done to get this child home.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Birth Certificates

Someone noticed that I have a running total of adoption related expenses on my left sidebar. That same person asked why my birth certificate total was so high.

Aaahhhh because, if you've been following along with this saga, you know that nothing I do is "simple". (If you're new around here, keep reading.)  No, instead it is all complicated, and I often have to take the hard-to-travel mountain trail instead of the well-traveled, paved interstate! I couldn't just go down to the county office and get copies of birth certificates. No, I had to add a whole entire step to the process. Added steps mean added costs, of course!

What are you doing today?

No really, talk to me. I want to hear what other people do when they're not working, going to school, cleaning up dog poop, doing laundry, avoiding cooking, chasing after a kid who is talking to invisible people or gathering adoption documents. 

Today I'm gathering or filling out adoption related documents. That means I'm also either writing out checks for copies of them, or handing over cash for them to get notarized. When that's done I'm going to set up the whelping box for Bella so she knows where to deposit her puppies when it's time. 

*Disclaimer:  If you read my other blog, you already know this is a cheater post. In other words, copy/pasted from my other blog. Sometimes I'm lazy like that. Because it's blogland, and there are no rules, really.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

s.l.o.w.

That's what this adoption is...slow. Holy cow! Even our background study was slow. And yet there is this reality that I have to bring myself back to. It hasn't been that slow! Even though we filled out a preliminary application with the adoption agency in May, we didn't actually start the very first steps of the homestudy process until July 26th.

For those who have already adopted, how long did your background studies take to come back? Ours just came back on Friday. (August 13th)

Our homestudy agency sent me book-full of stuff to start taking care of last week. It's daunting! Some of it I had already started thankfully, but the vast majority I have left to tackle. I'm going to take a couple days here to breathe for the first time in a month, and then I'm tackling this stuff full force! I want this homestudy DONE so when we get word that Ianna is ready, WE are ready! Still, looking at what is left to complete, gather, and compile, it will be the first week of September at least before our homestudy is done. There's just no way it will be done before that.

I went to school with a guy who is a professor of physics. He is a genius among geniuses. I bet he could design a cloning machine for me. (I bet he already has one in his basement, or his attic or something!) I have his number here somewhere.....

ppssst!

Look over there...on the left side of the blog. See the picture of Aaron? Here, I'll put another one up.


Aaron is just 6 years old, and was already transferred to a mental institution in a very remote area of Ukraine. He has Arthrogryposis, which leaves him with little/no use of his arms (though he has developed amazing use of his feet as hands!) 

Aaron had no idea that there was a family-Parents Rob and Julia and their sons- who wanted him, and had spent months scraping the pennies together to travel half way around the world to get him. Then one day, they showed up in his little world! At first he wasn't sure he wanted anything to do with these people who didn't speak his language. After all, he'd never had visitors before, so he didn't quite know what to think. No child has EVER been adopted out of his institution, so he didn't understand the importance of these visitors. He didn't (and still doesn't) understand what it means to have a momma and a papa. 

But then there was a problem with the court (the judge got sick!) and Rob and Julia were told to go home - without Aaron- until things could be figured out. They were heart broken! They never expected to have to go home without Aaron! By this time, Aaron was warming up to the idea that he would have a family. Not only that, but their finances were not budgeted for TWO TRIPS! This was NOT in the plan! That is a HUGE additional expense! 

And so they went home to sit and wait for who-knows-how-long until the attorneys and judges could figure out what to do. Finally the long-waited email arrived! Court is scheduled for August 26th! They leave in just a few days. They'll have to have two different court dates while there (because of the glitch the first time!) so will probably be stuck there 3-5 weeks. That is a long time to spend in-country. They've had to make MANY sacrifices to make this second trip happen, and I know that these last few days are being spent SCRAPING together the last few dollars. 

If you feel like donating $5, $10 or even more...click on the button below. If all you feel like doing for them is praying for their trip, well that certainly helps too! 

Grab This Button

Saturday, August 14, 2010

More on George

I was corrected today!!! Apparently when I met George, I was functioning on severe jetlag, and between the foreign language and jumbled English that was flying around, and playing with this adorable little boy, (and the fact we met ANOTHER cute little guy in a different foster home that same day whose information was also in my head, plus all the kids from the orphanage we'd met the day before!) so I do not have my facts straight! George HAS spent time in an institution: two of them, in fact. He has been in this foster home for the past two years. This makes it *slightly* more palatable how it is that he is facing the institution again. But only slightly.

At this point we are asking you to join us in prayer about George. Ianna is our priority right now, but as I said in my previous post, we have not forgotten about George. That said, we ARE getting approved for two in our homestudy!

Speaking of which, our first homestudy visit is coming up fast! This has taken longer than typical because we had some other financial commitments to deal with first. They are finally done, money is now in hand and we can move forward.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Messengers from God

In the past week, THREE people have told me they've had dreams about Ianna. One has commented here, one sent me an email, and one told me in in a conversation.

One of those people has met, and spent time with Ianna while in the process of their own adoption. The dream that she shared with me tonight had me not only in tears, but gasping for breath. Here is what my friend Cara shared with me:

I had a dream about your little lady the other night....
We (Doug and I) were at the orphanage. We were outside on the bench in the
play yard and your little lady was out there.

 She kept smiling at me and kept looking at her pocket.

She was wearing her pink jumper that I remember her wearing last summer.

Someone must have put something in her pocket but because of her fingers,
she couldn't pull it out herself.

I "asked" her ( with my limited Serbian and some sign) if I could help her
get it out.

She was very hesitant....is must have been something very special....

After some coaxing, she let me pull it out of her pocket. It was a picture
of your family....

She took it from my hands and placed the picture against her cheek and
smiled a big smile.

She pointed (with her entire hand, with her beautifully formed/fused finger)
at Mila who was sitting on my lap,

and then hugged the picture again.

It was like she understood that she had soemone to love her too, and she was
happy.

It was such a vivid dream....such a sweet dream



Literally, God took my breath away as I read the description of this dream. He put us there with Ianna. He told me, with this message, that he is there with her, that he has made her know in some special way there is love waiting for her, she just needs to hang on a little bit longer. Even though it was in the dream of another person, He made sure it was in the mind of someone who would repeat it to me.

God is so cool!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Praying for George


Meet George.


George is 10 and has Down syndrome.

In April, when I was in Serbia, I climbed in a car, and was driven by a crazy driver along a remote country highway over the mountains at breakneck speed around tractors, passing on hills, etc, to a village a few hours away to meet this little boy!

George's life has been one none of us would want. His first two years were wonderful, living with his birth family until they felt they couldn't help him any more, nor deal with the social stigma of having him with them. He was moved the Subotica institution, then Kulina, then after the MDRI investigation into Serbian institutions he was moved to foster care at 8 year old. This guy George is a HOOT! He's very smart, and thought these strangers who acted like aliens from another planet were pretty fun. And he was like a movie star with his own paparazzi the way we kept snapping his picture! But his foster family, for reasons I'm not able to discuss at the moment, are not able to continue to foster him.

In that country, if a child with a disability hasn't been adopted by age 10 they are often sent back to an institution and forgotten about. We were asked to help find a family for George before a bed in the institution is found for him.

We haven't forgotten about George. --------->wink


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Choosing to see the good

I hope my friend won't mind, but an email I sent to her made for a good blog post that I'm choosing to post here. I think it's a good message about choosing to see the good when things don't seem to be going very well.
.......................

I am choosing to see the good messages behind the bad things that happen.

When I went back to school, I applied for the DMS program. (aka Medical Sonography) But I was wait-listed. However, in order to improve my chanced to get in, I was enrolled in the BA Psychology program so I could get my generals done, and get my GPA up. That was one year ago.

Spring semester rolled around, and I was wait listed again, and again for this fall. In June I took the ACT's with all the other 17 year olds in the country (!) and scored a 24, and waited to hear if I'd get in for Spring 2011 semester. All of my generals are done, and there are no other non-program specific classes left for me to take unless I want to stay in the BA Psych program (I don't). I listed myself as "on leave" for fall semester, and waited to hear. Nervous, because we really need to travel in November for me to return to school in January.

And there is another problem that I hadn't thought about. If I return to school in January, it is all labs, most of which are only available during the day. We would just be home with Ianna.....how would I do that?

Last night I found out I've been wait-listed AGAIN for Spring semester. At first I was in tears when I got off the phone with admissions. Why should *I* have to wait an entire year when I have been working my tail off? I've maintained a high gpa, and proven myself. I cried because I keep getting beat out by these kids right out of high school with their high GPA's but no life experience who will be finding life-altering prenatal conditions and their reactions will be life altering for parents. I have been there. I know how their poor reactions destroy lives. And I cried because, for the first time ever I'm failing a class (algebra) and I have a migraine and it's just been a really bad day, and Dean had woken me from a sound sleep to take the call he knew I'd been waiting for.

And in the midst of my tears, I looked out the window just as a butterfly flew by, and then I remembered. If I don't get into the program in January, it is a BLESSING because there will be no pressure to figure out how to juggle schedules between Dean and I as we adjust to our new life with Ianna home.

Because Ianna will be home.

Today I made a tough call, but one I know I won't regret. I called the school admissions office, and told them to move me to the Fall 2011 list. That I was taking the entire year off. When I hung up the phone I felt like 1,000 pounds had been lifted off my shoulders.

Free.

Free to travel to bring Ianna home without a time issue for me to get back for school.

Free to schedule all her necessary medical appointments and surgeries when she gets home without worrying about my school schedule.

Free to bond with our new daughter uninterrupted by school, to support her through scary medical things, to homeschool her through her first year here, and watch her grow roots in her new family.

Free to travel with Angela for her spring training camp if she is chosen for the US Special Olympics Team.

Free to travel as a family to Greece to watch Angela participate in the World Special Olympics Games if she is chosen for the team.

I feel I followed God's command this first year of school, this toughest year of school, and am taking a much needed break to focus on Ianna. I know we're right where we should be, and I have no doubts about going back to school next fall. This year of school as been perfectly timed for us. The schedule worked out well for all three of us, and now I'll have a couple months off to finish the last of the adoption stuff. I feel like, by listening to God and making that call today, I was actually paying attention to his instructions.

Tonight after dinner, Dean and I were talking about some other adoption related decisions for our family, and how they relate to our upcoming homestudy visit and subsequent report. I hope that country on the other side of the world comes back from their summer vacation soon so I can start sharing DETAILS with you, because this one just might blow your socks off.


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Clothes

If I buy her a coming home outfit, she's sure to come home, right?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Ianna

Sometimes, late at night when I can't seem to get my mind to switch gears, I come here, just so I can look at her name up there on the header.

I read the verse my sister wrote, "and from the scorched earth emerges a beautiful flower. God's confirmation that through the ashes, His love prevails."




Monday, August 2, 2010

August is here!

Yep, August is here, and I've been reminded by a flurry of emails today. LOL No, we don't know anything. But you know what they say, (whoever "they" happens to be!) "No news is good news!" We're ok with that, because we feel like we're doing something.

Our background study is in process, our homestudy is in the works, my passport, marriage and divorce documents are back in my hands, along with a paper that says "confirmation of expedition" which means my birth certificate is on it's way! The painting of the house is nearly completed thanks to my amazing Dean (and some help from Tyler!) It just feels like things are definitely NOT at a standstill around here!

So, we're all good for now. Soon.....in God's time, whatever that may be. (remind me of that in a couple of weeks when I come back here whining, will ya?)